I have discovered that your youngest child starting preschool, marks the beginning of an endless stream of well-meaning comments along the lines of "you mustn't know what to DO with yourself now you have so much spare time". Usually from either mums with small kids (I completely GET where you are coming from - I have had 'all the kids out of the house envy' for many, many years) or mums who are working.
I was chatting to a friend at play group on Monday who said she was sick of feeling like she needed to be DOING stuff all the time. "What is the obsession with DOING?", she asked me.
I know that I've felt a bit guilty over the past few weeks that perhaps I've wasted some of this precious child-free time and not been efficient with it. Not DONE enough!
It goes back to a post I wrote a few weeks ago about not being a supermum.
I'm starting ( v e r y slowly) to recognise the value of not always doing. Last week I had my first migraine. It came at the end of a normal, very busy week. I found it quite scary. To me, it was a signal that I needed to stop DOING. In fact - it forced me to stop.
Over summer, I had a standard reply to everyone's questions about what I was going to do with ALL my spare time. I said that I planned to sit down, have a cup of tea and just stare at a blank wall for a while. In reality, it feels like three weeks ago I sat down, starting staring at the wall and then couldn't get up again - worn out from a decade (plus) of constant demands! Still haven't tidied up that play room properly yet.
It's a marathon, not a sprint, I keep telling myself.